New Deputy Mayor’s Privatization Push Still Has Critics (City Limits)

Stephen Goldsmith, the former Indianapolis mayor who started work June 1 as Mayor Bloomberg’s new deputy mayor for operations, has been hailed as a visionary. Just not by the people who actually experienced his Indianapolis reforms.

When Mayor Bloomberg tapped former Indianapolis mayor Stephen Goldsmith in April to replace longtime aide Ed Skyler as the city’s new deputy mayor for operations, all the talk was about the new hire’s credentials as an innovator at remaking government through privatization. The Times called Goldsmith, a former two-term mayor of Indianapolis who officially started work at City Hall on June 1, “a national leader in the movement to introduce corporate-style accountability and cost-cutting into government bureaucracy.” Bloomberg enthused about his new hire, “Lots of people talk about reinventing government; I think it’s fair to say Steve has actually done that.”

According to some of those who saw Goldsmith’s work firsthand in Indianapolis, however, his record is mixed. The Indianapolis miracle, say many community and labor leaders, was less an indicator of the magic of privatization than of its limits. … [read more]